Microsoft Acquires Advertising Firm, Rapt. This Move Seems Pretty Pointless To Me.

Posted Mar 15, 2008

The acquisition of advertising firms proves that there are some companies out there that are not affected by a downward spiraling economy. Technology companies are still strong, but is acquiring another advertising company necessary by Microsoft? They already spent a few billion dollars acquiring aQuantive. And now there are reports that Yahoo! and Microsoft board members are meeting in order to come with the terms with Microsoft’s proposition to acquire the #1 search engine for $40 billion+.

If the Microsoft and Yahoo! deal does take place, this beens that Microsoft would absorb all the advertising properities that Yahoo! has acquired too. Should Microsoft really feel that threatened by Google? Although Google has been doing well for themselves, it is not like we are playing video game consoles made by them or listening to music players manufactured by them. Nor are we using a web browser developed by Google. After this acquisition, I’ve started to ponder whether Microsoft is throwing away all their money just to prove a point and show that they’re not nervous about their future.

There was an episode of The Simpsons where Homer Simpson started his own computer business. And then computer nerd, Bill Gates entered the Simpsons residence. Here is how the script goes:

Back at the peaceful Simpsons house. Homer is reading “Internet for Dummies”.

HOMER
Oh, they have the Internet on computers now!

MARGE
Homer, Bill Gates is here.

HOMER
Bill Gates?! Millionaire computer nerd Bill Gates! Oh my god. Oh my god. Get out of sight, Marge. I don’t want this to look like a two-bit operation.

Marge groans and rolls her eyes. Bill Gates and two “associates” enter.

GATES
Mr. Simpson?

HOMER
You don’t look so rich.

GATES
Don’t let the haircut fool you, I am exceedingly wealthy.

HOMER
(quietly to Marge) Get a load of the bowl-job, Marge!

GATES
Your Internet ad was brought to my attention, but I can’t figure out what, if anything, CompuGlobalHyperMegaNet does, so rather than risk competing with you, I’ve decided simply to buy you out.

Homer and Marge step aside to talk privately.

HOMER
This is it Marge. I’ve poured my heart and soul into this business and now it’s finally paying off. (covering his mouth) We’re rich! Richer than astronauts.

MARGE
Homer quiet. Acquire the deal.

HOMER
(to Gates) I reluctantly accept your proposal!

GATES
Well everyone always does. Buy ’em out, boys!

Bill Gates companions begin to trash the “office”.

HOMER
Hey, what the hell’s going on!

GATES
Oh, I didn’t get rich by writing a lot of checks!

That last line, “I didn’t get rich by writing a lot of checks!” has some genius to it. Microsoft should realize that they have not become the powerhouse that they are today by acquiring a ton of companies. They became the powerhouse that they are today by making their employees happy enough to create the best operating system out there.

If there are any Rapt reps out there, please enlighten me on what value-add there is that they can provide that aQuantive already does not?